Player Ratings: Springboks' Redemption
OPINION: The Springboks rebounded in impressive fashion at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday, beating the British & Irish Lions to draw level in the Lions Series.
Trailing 6-9 at half-time, the Springboks turned the tables on the tourists and physically dominated them in the second half – outscoring the visitors by 27-9.
Leezil Hendricks rates the South African players!
Willie Le Roux
The fullback had a nervy start and struggled under the high ball in the opening minutes. However, he managed to compose himself and put in a noteworthy shift. He was looking for work and even attempted one or two up-and-unders. He made a couple of good runs and was good to see his intensity in the closing stages.
14 Cheslin Kolbe
He was bombarded with red shirts the moment he touched the ball. He missed a couple of tackles and his tackle in the air on Conor Murray saw him handed a yellow card. Not one of his best showings.
13 Lukhanyo Am
Another class performance by the centre. He marshalled the defence and his work rate is incredible. He made some strong carries and scored the Springboks’ second try.
12 Damian de Allende.
He is a powerhouse at 12. He asserted himself from the start and made 11 carries and 18 metres. In defence he was just as impressive, making eight tackles and missing just one. His partnership with Am is certainly not in doubt going forward.
11 Makazole Mapimpi
Unlike last weekend, the wing received ample opportunities and took them with both hands. He handled the aerial challenge well and even got the better of Stuart Hogg in the opening minutes. He scored the Boks’ first try. The wing still has some troubles in the defence and conceded a crucial penalty just short of the half-time break, however overall he was good.
10 Handre Pollard.
He showed why he is one of the best flyhalves. His tactical kicks were well-executed as he created several try-scoring opportunities, one which included a nicely timed cross-kick that resulted in the Boks’ first try. Unfortunately, his kicking from the tee wasn’t flawless, but overall the No.10 was incredible.
9 Francois de Klerk
The No.9 was in fine form. He was calm and read the game very well. His cover defence, including a neatly collected kick by Dan Biggar, was very good. The no.9 also showed his impressive skills with a clever kick which set up Lukhanyo Am’s try. It was pure class.
8 Jasper Wiese
The No.8 conceded a penalty in the opening minutes of the match. But other than that he put in a good shift. He added the much-needed physicality to the Boks’ pack. The stats showed he made all of his 14 tackles.
7 Pieter-Steph du Toit
The flank cleaned hard and made a couple of solid tackles before leaving the field after 20 minutes of play. A major concern for the Springboks.
6 Siyamthanda Kolisi (captain)
The captain put in an immense performance. He was absolutely relentless in defence and made 14 tackles, including a try-saving tackle on Henshaw on the brink of half-time. His stats show he made 22 metres and three carries.
5 Franco Mostert
The lock continues to put in the hard yards without much fanfare. He hit a couple of rucks and pulled off some good tackles. He stole a crucial line-out in the 34th minute.
4 Eben Etzebeth
The man is an absolute beast. He worked tirelessly, solid in defence as he ranked up nine tackles. The lock, as usual, was in the thick of the physical battle from the start and his exchanges with Lions captain Alun Wyn Jones in the opening minutes set the tone of the match.
3 Frans Malherbe
Following last weekend’s bomb squad misfire where he replaced Trevor Nyakane in the second stance, the prop had a lot to prove. It wasn’t a very assertive performance from the prop. However, he did the basics well before being replaced by Vincent Koch.
2 Mbongeni Mbonambi,
He managed to find his line-out jumpers. However, it was a very quiet performance from the hooker. He conceded a couple of penalties which include a no arms tackle in the first half. Certainly not one of his best displays.
1 Steven Kitshoff
It was an extra special occasion for the prop who was celebrating his 50th cap and he put in a solid performance. He made eight carries and got the better of Irish legend Tadhg Furlong on a few occasions.
16 Malcolm Marx (on for Mbonambi, 56th minute)
He made a massive impact with the ball in hand. Not only did the hooker manage to find the line-out jumpers he also dominated the breakdown – making a crucial steal in the closing stages. A much better showing than last weekend’s performance.
17 Trevor Nyakane (on for Kitshoff, 59th minute)
His impact was absolutely incredible. At scrum time he got the better of Kyle Sinckler – winning a scrum penalty, while his open play was just impressive.
18 Vincent Koch (on for Malherbe, 56th minute)
Part of the bomb squad with Trevor Nyakane and Malcolm Marx, the prop made a telling contribution.
19 Lodewyk de Jager (on for Wiese, 55th minute)
The lock made a great impact. He got involved and was incredible with the ball. While his defence was just as impressive.
20 Marco Van Staden (on for Kolisi, 72nd minute)
Not enough time to be rated
21 Albertus Smith (on for Du Toit, 20th minute)
Demoted from last weekend’s starting XV, the utility forward entered the field very early and put in a solid shift at flank. He made a few good carries and also stole a couple of balls at the breakdown. He conceded a couple of penalties
22 Herschel Jantjies (on for De Klerk, 63rd match)
Not enough time to be rated
23 Damian Willemse (on for Mampimpi, 67th minute)
Not enough time to be rated